‘Relationships’ Basic to EMU Cross-Cultural Experience

Twenty-four students who spent fall semester on a cross-cultural seminar in South Africa led the final chapel service of fall semester Dec. 12 at EMU.

EMU South Africa cross-cultural
(Photo by Jim Bishop)

The group, led by faculty members Harlan de Brun and Audra Baker, divided their time among Soweto, Lesotho and Cape Town in language study and learning the history and experiencing the culture of the regions.

Three different home stays were built into the program so that students could appreciate differences in rural/urban living and racial politics in South Africa.

The most valuable aspect of the program, several participants noted, was “discovering anew the value of building relationships among people with similar aspirations but from different worlds.”

Here, several group members do a skit on “adjusting to African time.” Also during the service, participants read journal entries, poetry and scripture and sang songs from South Africa and ended with a prayer of thanksgiving for the remainder of the semester and safety over the holidays.

This academic year, EMU is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its “Global Village” program that includes an off-campus study experience as part of its general education requirements.